Bulging Christmas stockings, stuffed and overflowing with goodies, are a major part of our holiday tradition. Filling those stockings inexpensively, on the other hand, isn’t so fun. Here are some ideas that may help you – they work for us!
Candy, of course. Preferably something nostalgic, like peppermints and butterscotch drops. Our dad was always partial to Bit O’Honeys; I’m a Baby Ruth girl, myself.
Favorite fresh fruit. An orange in the toe is traditional stuffing; add a banana, and you’ve taken up an appreciable amount of space. I like a crisp green pear, too. (The oranges, by the way, are usually tangerines in our house.)
Dried fruit. Apricots, fruit leather, dried cranberries. Tasty, and they keep for ages. Mix them, handful for handful, with:
Mixed nuts. Or almonds and cashews. (Our oldest girlie would kill for a jar of macadamias.) Great for munching, while reading:
A paperback. Every Christmas should include a book, to be enjoyed by the Christmas lights. Our local library has a used book room with 25 cent children’s books and 50-cent paperbacks.
Sample-sized toiletries. Not only are these inexpensive – they’re perfect for use during traveling. Look for scents your giftee is fond of, like lavender, ginger and such.
A luxury version of an everyday item. Soap, flashlight, brush, socks – just higher-quality than usual.
Roll of quarters or book of stamps. Useful, helpful. Silver dollars, burnished to a glow, look nice too.
An oversized chocolate bar, preferably of imported chocolate. Toblerone or Lindt’s a good choice. What kind does your recipient like the best – Belgian, dark, milk, etc.?
Something weird. This Christmas, Daughter #2 gets a mechanical chicken toy that poops out jellybean eggs as it walks. (She has a chicken coop.) Little Brother gets a large pink candy pig. (One year, he asked for a pig for Christmas, and we have never forgotten.)
Cindy Brick is a personal property appraiser, judge and national teacher who loves to write about frugality and other personal finance topics. She has written six books and hundreds of articles, but often focuses on quilting, her teaching specialty. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two golden labs and a flock of very suspicious chickens. Find out more at Brickworks, http://www.cindybrick.com, or visit her personal blog: http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com